The Aftermath of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

sexual harassment.jpg

A few weeks ago I was listening to a new radio station (KJZZ-Phoenix), which I’ve started to love because they go deep into news-making topics. They shared an interesting perspective about the fallout of all these harassment claims being launched. From Hollywood leaders to politicians, and now, Matt Lauer! Not the golden boy of daytime news TV!! How the mighty have fallen, but there are still some victims being affected, although they’ve never said a word or made a claim.

It’s the women who are part of certain male-dominated fields.

KJZZ pointed out the systemic repercussions against women. There may be no concrete damage done when the male colleague tells a dirty joke in a staff meeting, but the problem emerges when the woman in the room reacts. If she is not accepting, then her career and the perception of her could be at stake. If she is no longer seen as a team player because of her unwillingness to go along with the crude office humor, somehow, she is viewed as a threat to the system. Hence the cards may be systematically stacked against women.

This is not an excuse for women (or male victims -- who may be the minority in a female-run organization) to not be social, do their best work, or to participate in below-board humor. It is simply an awareness for those of you who may not understand the pain behind the headlines that a lot of women are facing in the workplace everyday.

Yes, there are plenty of great organizations where this has never been an issue (and I’m fortunate to have gone relatively unscathed during my 9.5-year corporate career) so please don’t think I’m male bashing here. There are decent men and women too.

The re-emergence of sexual harassment issues into the limelight is one of the many dimensions that will be discussed during Project 2020. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure you do.

Written by Brenda M. Cunningham: The one who will tell you like it is and help you get to where you want to be in your career. Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation.